Awesomeness Films and YouTube gives us the first feature‐length film, DANCE CAMP, from their recently announced partnership. When Hunter (Jeter) gets busted throwing a party instead of tending to his responsibilities, his mother decides that he needs discipline and sends him off to a dance camp filled with eclectic misfits. Hunter initially refuses to take the camp seriously. However, when his temper is ignited by a rival dance group’s leader Lance (Paul); Hunter sets out with his group of misfits to take them down. Along the way he learns some lessons, makes some friends and finds love with Cheyenne (D’Angelis).
BSCKids recently got to talk to Nadji about Dance Camp and some other projects. We talked dance films and outside of Dance Camp we both agree that You Got Served is also one of the greatest dance battle films created so we had some common ground to start our discussion.
When we asked Nadji about his dance background he was very happy to describe how he got started. He tells us how dancing was how he got into entertainment and how he started dancing in Atlanta Georgia with Usher Raymond and how he was also the mascot for the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta is where Nadji got the nickname little Usher as well. At age 10 Nadji moved out to California and really got his entertainment career going.
Nadji also told us that he has been influenced as a performer by a lot of different performers in the entertainment industry including Michael Jackson, James Brown and of course Usher. But he also spent time training in Jazz dance as well.
For Dance Camp it was just a regular audition for him. He went in for the role of Hunter as an actor but fell in love with the story of Hunter as it had some parallels for him in his life. They asked Nadji if he could dance and of course from there the rest is history… Getting into character for Nadji is usually that he just takes some time off for himself to get himself situated. Dance Camp was a little bit of a different experience since it is a role that he was familiar with in real life so it was a bit easier.
Behind the scenes of Dance Camp was a lot of fun Nadji told us with everyone learning all of the routines. There was some time though for Nadji and Philip Labes, who plays Jeb, to have some behind the scenes dance battles around the trailers and have fun in rehearsals.
Nadji loved working with Meg DeAngelis (who wouldn’t!) and said she was amazing and had great talent, and lets us know that Meg was a cheerleader and really was observant for the dance routines. Nadji has also run into a bunch of Lance (played by Jake Paul) type characters in the real world, which you find interesting after watching the movie. He said they exist out there in the dance world, so it doesn’t seem like you can avoid them.
On why people should be watching Dance Camp – “because we have all these new ways of dance and dances coming out” … “and it has been a long time since the world has seen a movie with the new dances”
He explained that he sees YouTube Red as something that is going to be great for kids because they will see that they can also be hired and can really do this (entertainment). It will open doors for artists and actors in new ways. With everyone going online for content. Nadji tells us how he goes on YouTube everyday so this is going to be something that just blows up!
The talented young performer also shows up in one of my favorite books of the past year and great movie, The 5th Wave. Nadji plays Poundcake and he let us in on that role explaining it was a crazy experience for him as it was his first action movie. He revealed that he was reading the book as he was auditioning but that the project was very “hush-hush” to see where people would fit into the casting. After casting they got put into intensive Army training to prepare them for the role. He found it amazing.
We had such a great time talking to Nadji and wish him the best of luck in his career! You can find Nadji Jeter on Twitter at @NajJeter, make sure to congratulate him on Dance Camp.